My then 14-year-old son Vernon Eddins Jr. was murdered on December 21, 2007, due to senseless gun violence, after being bullied for over a year by a gang that was convicted for his murder. He stood at a bus stop after walking home a younger friend that would have been bullied that same day.
Vernon was not in a gang; he was a prankster who loved playing jokes on people, especially family and friends. Vernon would put salt into ice tray water in the summer time and let it freeze and then laugh so hard after watching someone drink the salty water. I try to remember the good memories of my son’s life and I also work hard at creating change to ensure that another child’s life is not taken due to being bullied. My son Vernon’s life mattered, and every child’s life matters. I love and miss him so much that I, Angelique Paige, have founded an organization in memory of my son to “Shine a Light on Bullying” through prevention and intervention. Helping identify bullying and how to report it.